The Day My Life Changed Forever: The Dawn of Fatherhood #ThanksBaby

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Me and Sophia in her very early days.

Do you remember the moment? That seminal instant that you were told you were going to be a dad? Maybe you’re a to-be dad and just found out this week, this month, today. It’s a moment that is hard to forget. You know what other moment is impossible to forget? The birth of your child. That.changes.everything.

My life has never been the same since Sophia was born in February 2011. It changed even more once Maddie came along in August 2013. It’s hard to really wrap my head around just how much things have changed. I sit and I ponder what I did before we had the girls. What did I actually do with all that free time?

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Yes, that free time was great. I could do anything I wanted. And waste hours on end. Now? The vast majority of my time is dedicated to Sophia and Maddie. Whether it’s taking the four hours required to get them to actually eat a meal, telling them to stop fighting over a toy, or convincing them that bedtime is a time for sleep–without Mommy or Daddy, that’s where my time goes. Oh, I really only just mentioned the tough parts didn’t I? While those things really do take up A LOT of time, they’re really the little inconveniences that come along with being a parent.

There is so much awesome that comes with being a dad. A million reasons I can say #ThanksBaby to my little girls. From the moment they were both born, there have been millions of laughs, lots of kissing boo-boos, SO MANY diapers changed. Inside jokes, outside jokes, dad jokes (ALL THE DAD JOKES), tears, kisses, silly games, cuddles, and everything in between.

Sisters meet for the first time.

Sisters meet for the first time.

What I never expected when I became a dad was that it would be how I identify. That’s really hard for me to believe. My life is about being a dad. For better or worse. Through all my mistakes, hiccups, and failures, being a father is who I am.

I will never, and I mean NEVER, forget the day we brought the girls home. I was terrified. We got Sophia in the car and I thought to myself “What now?! I’m in no way qualified to do this! WHAT IF I BREAK HER?!” With Maddie, I felt a little more at-ease than that, but damned if I wasn’t scared I’d break her too. Well, 5 and almost 3 years, respectively each, I haven’t broken them (ok, there was that one time I knocked Maddie down the stairs by accident, LAY OFF ME!)

This video created by Pampers is definitely worth a watch, too. If you want to see the kind of bond and relationship that comes about between baby and father at birth, this will show you. I love it. A lot.

What I do know, more than any other thing, is that no matter what I’m going to be there for these kids. Through all the tampers, frustrations, fights, future “I HATE YOU DAD” taunts, the giggles, the laughs, the love, and the amazing, I’m going to be there. Every step of the way.

If it weren’t for these two beautiful daughters, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this right now. I don’t even know what my identity would be. This is my chance to say #ThanksBaby to them both–for making me a father, for teaching me everything they teach me daily.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Just like I love thanking my daughters, I want to help spread that love to the masses. I’m doing that with Pampers–who honors dads for just being dads and thanks them for all the amazing things, big and small, they do to help little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life. 

Please join us by tweeting why you are most thankful for baby with the hashtag #ThanksBaby.

Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad  and Pampers for this promotion.

Damn You Teething, Damn You!

57085569Dear Sleep,

How are you, old friend? I hope life is treating you well, as I lay awake at night, readying myself for the next scream of pain coming from the room of my one-year old.

What’s the problem, you ask? Have you heard of this thing that babies do, it’s called teething? Oh you have? Good. Then you should know where I’m coming from. If you were not aware of this growing trend, where teeth fight, claw, scratch, and tear their way through the gums, I’d have to refer you to this handy illustrated guide, courtesy of my friends at How To Be A Dad.

You’d like to know what exactly happened? Well, friend that I see all too little of anymore, it’s simple really. Our youngest daughter, Maddie–she’s one now–has three of those little demon teeth pushing their way through her gentle baby-gums AT THE SAME TIME. Those demon teeth are pushing her temperature sky-high, making her uncomfortable at every turn, forcing her to scream for mercy. She just wants relief, Sleep. That’s all she wants. She wants those teeth to stop imposing their will on her gum-line. Just pop through and be done with it, demon teeth!

Let me tell you, Sleep, this whole teething thing is for the birds. Just last night was the worst we’ve experienced to this point. The clock struck 12 and the demons came to play. One whimper turned to an hour of screaming. Then to a short amount of sleep, back to an hour of screaming, back to short amount of sleep, and on and on and on it went until the wee hours of the morning. No amount of Advil or Tylenol or Ora-Jel could soothe her. Shortly before the alarm clock beeped to wake us for the day, poor little Maddie finally fell into your awaiting arms, Sleep.

One day, this whole teething world will be a thing of the past. And both my girls–as well as Sarah and I–will finally be able to re-connect with you, Sleep. It will be a joyous occasion. One where we all well-rested and free of pain and demon teeth. Until then, dear friend, rest easy and be well.

Yours in exhaustion,

Nick

Which is Best For You? Stay-at-Home Parent vs Working Parent

Sophia more than two years ago, while I was a stay-at-home dad

Sophia more than three years ago, while I was a stay-at-home dad.

Jan 14th, 2011: The day I lost my previous job.

February 24th, 2011: The day Sophia was born. Also the day I became a stay-at-home dad.

The topic of stay-at-home parenting can be a hot-button issue. I realize that. Frankly, I don’t understand why it’s really anybody else’s business if you decide to stay at home and raise your kids or if you decide to work. I’ve seen this more between moms than between dads, but it can be downright brutal. Really, I just want discussion, respectful, of course, about the topic. Continue reading

Movers and Shakers

In two weeks, Maddie will turn one. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. I can’t believe we’ve survived life with two kids for almost a year. Looking back over the year, a lot has happened. Good and bad. But, that’s not really what this post is about. This post is about the tiny speed demon that is Maddie. It took her a while to get to crawling, but holy hell has that girl mastered it. She’s a mover. She’s a shaker. Pretty soon, she’ll be walking, running, and leaving us in her dust. Sorta like Sophia does now.

Maddie kinda sorta liked her first day on the beach #realdadmoments #rehoboth

A post shared by Nick (@papabrownie22) on

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Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast Ep. 3: Talkin’ Toddler and Babies

Our guest host for episode 3. She was a natural!

Our guest host for episode 3. She was a natural!

Sunday morning we recorded Episode 3 of The Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast. You can listen to it here or you can head on over to LifeofDad.com, where we are now a part of their podcast network and give it a listen there, as well.

We had a very special guest host this week, as well. Sophia lent us her broadcasting talents for the show and she did a great job. Granted, half the time she was playing games or watching Netflix on my phone, but when she wasn’t she “was making radio with Daddy!”  Continue reading

Coming Soon to Papabrownie.com: The Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast

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I’m excited to announce that coming very soon, possibly as soon as early next week, I, along with Ben from Sketchy Radio will be premiering the “Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast”.

We’ll be recording each new episode on Sundays. As we record each new episode, I’ll be posting them here for you to hear. You can also visit our Facebook page. You can follow us on twitter @PBDadCast

This is the premise behind our podcast: A couple of dads podcasting about being dads! Open your ears for some great stories and conversations about all things we dads face on a daily basis.

Both Ben and I are stoked to bring you some great stories, in addition to the ones I write here!

Just Between You and Me: #JBFPhilly Sales Are a Parent Must

The JBF Philly sale at the Greater Reading Expo Center

The JBF Philly sale at the Greater Reading Expo Center.

When it comes to buying clothes, toys, supplies, etc. for your kids, frankly the prices can get out of hand. When it comes to clothes, generally speaking your kids will grow out of them so quickly that you rarely really get your moneys worth with them. Then, what do you once they outgrow those clothes? Donate them? Give them to a friend? Luckily, you have another option when it comes to getting all things kids related. The Just Between Friends Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sales Events! Continue reading